I had one of the greatest days of my life recently, in terms of productivity. It ranks right up there with a single day in 11th grade when I won a tennis tournament, placed 1st in a district-wide essay contest, changed the oil in my Volkswagon and lost my virginity. Just kidding. Everyone knows Volkswagons are impossible to work on. I was 17. My more current brush with over-achievement was a little different, though no less amazing. The more things I did, the more astounded I was that I wanted to do more. I cooked, I cleaned, I cooked some more, I did laundry, I exercised, I solved problems between my children that could teach those “leading” the Middle East peace process a thing or two. There was bacon. I brought it home. There was a pan. There was a man. You do the math.
Late in the evening of my glorious brush with domestic overachievement, I sat down and composed a list of all the things I accomplished on that fine day, from household chores to showing my fifth grade daughters how to use a self-sticking panty-liner as an emergency sleeping mask.
Scanning the list, I decided that the one plausible explanation was an endorphin high, precipitated by my long run at the crushingly painful hour of 3 p.m., when I’m usually yearning for Dr. Phil and a catnap, but instead find myself helping with science homework or prepping for dinner.
How on earth did a run during cozy sleepy time actually feel so good, and not only that, keep feeling good for the next six hours?
It was the next day that I really began analyzing what had happened. It started during a visit with my doctor, whom I went to for a little relief from my allergies. I asked her how her running regimen was going. She mentioned endorphin highs, and how much she enjoyed them. My ears perked up. The elusive endorphin high. I was not so sure I’d ever experienced one. I didn’t admit it to her, however. I didn’t want to seem like an amateur, like some anxiety ridden sorority girl at a sisterly pajama party, keeping her mouth shut about never having had an orgasm, mainly because she wasn’t sure of the exact location of her vagina. Sorry, that was uncalled for. Of course sorority girls know where their vaginas are located – as does every frat boy in town.
Before I made my list, I guessed that I completed about 42-or-so things that day. Here’s the general time frame in which they happened:
6:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
1. Got up (for those of you who have never combined Benadryl and white wine to overcome allergies that can best be described as “Nazi-like,” you may not appreciate why this qualifies as an accomplishment. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.)
2. Facilitated getting four kids out of the house and to school (technically two things, but I’m not one to split hairs.)
3. Finished three loads of laundry.
4. Sent work-related emails from home.
5. Sent home-related emails to husband at work (he loves it when I do this).
6. “Got ready” for work (so many things here, it’s too exhausting to think about, so I’ll just count it as one thing).
10:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
1. Saw the doc and got an allergy shot.
2. Took 13-year son’s gym clothes to him at school (please, no comments; I’ll hear plenty about this one soon enough).
3. Did a bunch of work stuff. Who the hell cares how many things that is.
2:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
1. Made a shitload of nachos for all my friends, I mean kids.
2. Delivered three girls to softball practice.
3. Ran 4.5 miles.
4. Went to the grocery store “for a couple things” and spent $174.
5. Made a meatloaf. It was terrible. (I didn’t say I did 42 things well…)
6. Picked up girls from softball practice.
7. Did miscellaneous afternoon dishes.
8. Planted a hydrangea in the front yard.
9. Summited Clean Laundry Mountain, effectively filling up my empty closet.
10. Cleaned the girls’ bathroom. Yuck. (It’s true what you hear about women’s bathrooms being worse than men’s.)
11. Cleaned the main bathroom, which also doubles as son’s bathroom. Double yuck. (It’s not true what you hear about women’s bathrooms being worse than men’s.)
12. Served dinner without killing anyone (sometimes it’s about what you don’t do)
13. Made milkshakes for all my friends! (the kids and hubby)
14. Made egg salad for the next day’s lunches (one with olive oil mayo and one with Best Food’s for the people who think olive oil mayo is “gross.”
15. Wrote this list (it counts!)
16. Put one last load of laundry into the washer, cussing all the way.
17. Performed Satanic Bedtime Rituals, which included: picking out one stuffed animal; no, the other one; no, not that one; served two doses of cough medicine; rubbed athlete’s foot cream in between ten little toes; scratched one back; fed one fish; set up one humidifier the wrong way; set up one humidifier the correct way.
Okay, so that’s six, plus three, plus seventeen, which equals 26. After I wrote this, I took my second and last shower of the day, poured myself a Big Glass of Wine, read something, and retired. All told, about 24 things, give or take a few things that may or may not have occurred during my “retirement,” but that won’t be shared here.
Not 42, but enough. So, on that day, I did at least 24 (or possibly 25-27) things. How could this be? Sure seemed like a lot more things…
Too bad that I bumped into my doctor a few days later at the grocery story and told her about my first endorphin high and the glorious rush of energy that followed. She asked if that happened to be the same day I got my allergy shot, to which I said, “Yes!”
She gave me the bad news that endorphin high it was not, but merely a normal response to the allergy med. Ever the junkie, I asked her if it would continue through the season. Sadly, she shook her head.
Back to doing 24 things.